William Ralph “Bill” Jones, 65, of Lakeside Park, Ky., passed away Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.
He was born in Arcadia, Fla., in 1948.
Bill was a 1970 graduate of the University of Florida and held master’s degrees from Lexington Theological Seminary in divinity and from the University of Kentucky in social work. A convert to the Catholic faith, Bill was a member of the parish of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. He had grown up in a devout Methodist family and came to Kentucky to work as associate pastor of Florence Christian Church, and came to work at Catholic Charities in 1981 as a mental health therapist. Bill served as Department Chair for Counseling Services, Comptroller and Associate Executive Director, working with Sr. Joan Boberg CDP, Executive Director, in that position from 1995 until her retirement in 2005. He became a Catholic in 1987, as a result of his work at Catholic Charities.
Bill was appointed Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities, which included the Parish Kitchen in September 2005. The focus of the work of the agency since 2005 has been programming, which not only serves those who are most at risk, but also new initiatives which lift people from poverty and the other social conditions that prevent them from achieving self-sufficiency. In order to achieve this goal, Bill was instrumental in Catholic Charities, forming close financial and programmatic partnerships with government and nongovernmental organizations in ways that use public dollars and draw from the capacity of collaborating agencies. This vision included a stronger relationship with Catholic Charities USA, where Bill was a member of the Board of Trustees.
During his tenure, Catholic Charities purchased a housing facility that supports 16 families who have a member who is disabled and who were formerly homeless. These services include financial literacy, housing support, job coaching, mentoring for former prison and jail inmates, mental health and parenting services. Because of Bill’s leadership, Catholic Charities purchased the Welcome House building, which houses the Parish Kitchen. The building has been rehabbed and continues to function as a shelter operated by Welcome house, and is still the home of the Parish Kitchen.
In addition to his work with Catholic Charities, Bill was involved in a wide range of diocesan activities. These included the Ministry Formation Board, the Diocese Pro-Life Advisory Board, the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home Board, the diocesan Long Range Plan Steering Committee, and the HIV/AIDS Task Force. He was appointed to the Campbell Lodge Foundation Board in November 2012. At the Cathedral, he was a member of the RCIA team. In the wider community, he was a member of the Leadership Council of Human Services Executives. Nationally, Bill was a member of the Executive Committee of the board of Catholic Charities USA, to which he was appointed in 2009. Prior to this appointment, he had been the program chair for Catholic Charities’ annual national meeting committee.
Bill was a visionary leader and was always a powerful advocate for the poor and needy in our community. The staff of Catholic Charities loved and admired Bill for his crusading spirit, his compassion for those in need, his powerful intellect and his strong faith. He was an example to everyone who knew him because of the way he put his faith into action in every aspect of his life.
Bill is survived by his wife, Donna M. Scholer; uncle and aunt, Dr. Frank and Reba Platt; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Veta and Jack Cason; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Dale, Paul and Jennifer, Debbie, Glenna and Tim, and Ted; many nieces, nephews, cousins and godchildren; and many beloved Florida relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1140 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Catholic Charities, 3629 Church St., Latonia, KY 41015. Online condolences may be expressed at www.connleybrothersfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Connley Brothers Funeral Home, Latonia, Ky.